Affordable Control/Trajectory Management Systems for Unmanned Air or Space Vehicles

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: F33615-01-M-3134
Agency Tracking Number: 011VA-0104
Amount: $97,108.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2001
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
10882 Crabapple Road, Roswell, GA, 30075
DUNS: 808996508
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Carl Lizza
 VP of Programs
 (770) 518-4228
Business Contact
 Sharon Scott
Title: VP of Finance
Phone: (770) 518-4228
Research Institution
There is a major need for unmanned vehicles that act autonomously from humans,thereby reducing both the amount of supervision necessary and the cost associatedwith their operation. In order to accomplish this task, autonomous vehicles musthave the ability to make decisions, assess their health and environment, dynamicallyre-plan, and control their movements in a dynamic and unpredictable environment.Our goal is to design an affordable control technique that 1) reduces the necessaryhuman interaction, 2) responds to both anticipated and unanticipated events,3) allows easy verification and validation of vehicle behavior, and 4) is as effectiveas an equivalent manned vehicle. In order to meet these objectives, ASI plans toimplement an associate decision aiding system that uses knowledge about theenvironment and context in which it is operating, as well as the potential purposesof the system and its operators. It can act in concert with one or more humansto perform complex tasks, and is designed explicitly to work interactively andcooperatively with human counterparts, unlike either conventional automation orautonomous software agents.Demand for unmanned vehicle systems continues to grow in every major world region.The United States, as well as many foreign countries have UAVs, all of which couldtake advantage of our system. Military systems can also utilize components of ourtechnology, by implementing data fusion and situation assessment capabilities. Datafusion can be part of a collaborative intelligence network. Situation assessmenttechnology can be used in a variety of domains, including battlefield management,flight operations, and mission planning.Although military procurement will continue to represent the majority of industryrevenues, intense competition in military markets will force some companies to gearnew marketing efforts toward civil and commercial customers. As such, ASI plans tobroaden the market for associate systems by pursuing commercial opportunities forour technology and products, particularly in air traffic management, general aviationand agricultural vehicles. Specifically, from this SBIR, we expect to apply theconcepts of controlling unmanned vehicles to agricultural domains, from combines toprofessional turf maintenance vehicles. We also expect to utilize advanced flightnavigation concepts in unmanned Department of Transportation traffic monitoring andpolice surveillance vehicles.In addition to using our technology in unmanned systems, we can also extract componentsof the total system for use in situation assessment displays and data fusionapplications. Our situation assessment module would be particularly successful inan advanced cockpit setting, like that proposed by the FAA's Advanced General AviationTransport Experiments (AGATE) program. This program is designed, in part, to developaffordable, low-cost, intuitive cockpit displays that provide situation, weather, andtraffic awareness to support Free Flight. Data fusion can also be used in public safetyand emergency management venues, where information gathering and synthesis isnecessary.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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